Sabon Next OpenType

I have, in collaboration with my assistant Tom Grace, extended the character set to the usual large support of Latin language, added various alternates, ligatures and their accented versions, corrected small bits everywhere and built coherent OpenType features.

We used extensively the Stylistic sets and in some case copied the sets to Alternates and Swashes for Illustrator/Xpress 7 users. Indeed, you will have the usual superiors, small caps, 4 sets of figures, fractions but also such things which need a bit of description:

  1. ligatures
  2. discretionary ligatures
  3. stylistic set 1 (alternates) or Alt in Illustrator
  4. stylist set 2 (contextual Swashes) or Swashes in Illustrator—Indesign
  5. stylistic set 3 (final glyphs)
  6. stylistic set 4 (contextual long s)
  7. stylistic set 5 (Jan Tschichold + Euro)
  8. stylistic set 6 (ornaments)

What is sad in current applications and/or how OpenType stylistic sets features work, is that there is no way to change the texts in the menus, from Stylistic set 5 to Jan Tschichold set in order to improve user experience.


Some examples of the features, before/after. Sorry for the vertical image, it better to make it larger.

The last 3 stylistic sets need a bit of explanation:
Stylistic set 4 (contextual long s) is in fact a way to make accessible the use of the long s as the specific feature exist in a couple of OpenType fonts already on the market, but mostly no major applications permit to access to this feature.

Stylistic set 5 (Jan Tschichold + Euro) is a nice feature for fans of the original Sabon. When this stylistic set is applied, you will get the short f for roman and short f and j for italic. If, in addition, you select the ligatures, indeed, you have the disconnected roman ligatures and the straight short f ligatures in the italic. In addition, you have also access to the large Euro which fit a bit more the original Euro specification (nobody wants such things now, obviously).


Some of the features, here for the Display roman.

stylistic set 6 (ornaments) is simply a way not to destroy all nice combinations of ornaments done with the original Sabon Next Ornament font. That way, just switch to any of the new Sabon Next OpenType, and apply this feature, you will keep your ornaments. In addition, you have also more position of ornaments to make life easier.


More features, here for the Display Italic.

Now, you may want to know when this family will be published? We finished our beta fonts (OpenType PS flavour, not hinting) in early April 2006. Now the fonts are in the hands of Linotype, and we all expect to see appearing in the market before the end of this year 2006.

Jean François Porchez, 24 May 2006

typofonderie, typographie, typeface,